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Episode 40: Maine: Staying for the Finish with Elsie Larson

podcast Oct 13, 2021

In this episode, Sharon is joined by Elsie Larson, creator of A Beautiful Mess, to share the story of Senator Margaret Chase Smith, a Maine woman who refused to take no for an answer. Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman in U.S history to hold a seat in both houses of Congress. With nearly 40 years in office, Senator Smith's career is marked with incredible achievements, such as being responsible for the U.S moon landing and being the first woman to run for U.S president. Known for her political courage, honesty and integrity, she is a hero of democracy. Join Sharon and Elsie as they uncover the remarkable story of Margaret Chase Smith and why she gave Maine - as well as the rest of America - so many reasons to be proud. 

Links to Full Episode:

This Episode Will Teach You:

  • Margaret Chase Smith’s road to Congress
  • Margaret was the first woman to hold a seat in both houses of Congress 
  • Why Margaret was known for her political courage 
  • Why she was known for her honesty in politics 
  • How Margaret helped the U.S put a man on the moon 
  • Margaret was the first woman to run for president 
  • Why she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom  
  • Why a democracy award was named in her honor 

3 Biggest Takeaways:

  • Born in 1897, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was a teacher, basketball coach and wife to Clyde Smith, a representative of Maine in the U.S House of Representatives. After suffering from a heart attack, Congressman Smith needed someone to fill his seat. Margaret was his obvious choice. She ran for his seat and won, and later ran for the U.S Senate. Despite running against three male competitors, Margaret received an astounding 71% of the vote, becoming the first woman in U.S history to hold an office in both houses of Congress. 
  • Throughout her time in Congress, Margaret was known for her courage and honesty. During the McCarthy era, Margaret gave one of the greatest speeches in American history, speaking out against Senator McCarthy and the lack of evidence for his accusations. As well, she introduced a bill that advocated for women’s equality in the armed forces and served on a Senate committee responsible for putting a man on the moon and the establishment of NASA. 
  • Senator Margaret Smith was one of the longest-serving women in Congress. She was a very active member of Congress; in fact, she was present for almost 3,000 consecutive votes. In 1964, she became the first woman to run for president in the U.S. Because of her courage, determination and integrity, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and an American democracy award is named in her honor. Margaret Chase Smith passed away in 1995 at 97 years old.

About the Guest:

Elsie Larson is the co-creator of A Beautiful Mess, a popular blog and podcast. The blog is run by Elsie and her sister, Emma Chapman, and contains over twelve years of recipes and step-by-step tutorials for home decor projects, crafts, and easy to make recipes. Elsie and Emma are also the creators of the top-selling apps, A Color Story, A Design Kit, Filmm and Template. 

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